Key excerpts from Mueller's Ray Rice investigation
Former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III said in a report that the NFL failed to investigate the Ray Rice case properly and that he found no evidence the league received a video of the Ravens running back knocking out his fiancee on a casino elevator.
Here are some of the key excerpts from the 96-page report released Thursday following a four-month investigation:
- On the NFL's investigation into the case: ''There was substantial information about the incident that should have put the league on notice of a need to undertake a more thorough investigation to obtain available evidence of precisely what occurred inside the elevator. Had the League done so, it may have uncovered additional information about the incident, possibly including the in-elevator video prior to its public release.''
- On an Associated Press report that a law enforcement official sent a copy of the in-elevator video to the NFL: ''We found no evidence that anyone at the NFL had or saw the in-elevator video before it was publicly shown. We also found no evidence that a woman at the NFL acknowledged receipt of that video in a voicemail message on April 9, 2014.''
- On the steps taken by the NFL to pursue evidence in the case: ''Our investigation identified a number of investigative steps that the league did not take to acquire additional information about what occurred inside the elevator. League investigators did not contact any of the police officers who investigated the incident, the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office, or the Revel to attempt to obtain or view the in-elevator video or to obtain other information. No one from the league asked Rice or his lawyer whether they would make available for viewing the in-elevator video they received as part of criminal discovery in early April. And, after the initial contacts with the Ravens in the immediate aftermath of the incident, league investigators did not follow up with the Ravens to determine whether the team had additional information.''
- On the accuracy of the report's findings: ''We reach these findings without the benefit of all possible information. The Associated Press and ACPD did not provide certain information we requested. For example, had the Associated Press provided us with a phone number associated with the disposable phone used by the AP source, or the sound of the female's voice at the league (for use with voice comparisons), our conclusion might have been different. We made several offers to the Associated Press to receive such information without identifying its source, including an offer to search our telephone data for any portion of the source's disposable cellphone number. Those offers were declined. Similarly, had ACPD provided information about certain officers' handling of evidence, we might have reached a different conclusion. We made several requests to ACPD for information, face-to-face interviews, and written responses to our questions. Those requests were declined.''
- On security chief Jeffery Miller's unsuccessful attempt to obtain in-elevator video: ''Also on February 20, Miller attended a previously scheduled lunch meeting with senior officials from NJSP-officials who had worked with the League in the run up to the Super Bowl at the Meadowlands. Miller recalls that, during a brief discussion of the Rice incident, he told the officials that the league knew there was video from outside the elevator and that he suspected there was video from inside the elevator. Miller recalls asking the officials if they could confirm whether an in-elevator video existed or describe to him what the video showed. There is a dispute about what Miller said at the luncheon, but there is no dispute that Miller did not obtain information as a result of any request made during the luncheon.''
Reaction from around the NFL and elsewhere:
- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell: ''We have all learned a great deal in the past months and expect to be judged by how we lead going forward on issues of domestic violence and sexual assault.''
- New York Giants owner John Mara: ''This matter has tarnished the reputation of the NFL due to our failure to hand out proper punishments. It has been a wake-up call to all involved and we expect the changes that have been made will lead to improvements in how any similar issues are handled in the future. It is clear to us that Commissioner Goodell was forthright in the statements he made to the owners about this matter, and we have every confidence that Roger Goodell is the right person to lead the league as we move forward.''
- Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on approval of Goodell: ''I can understand the criticism. I would hope that certainly something like this report would accentuate the transparency that the commissioner wants and that the owners want. These are complex issues, not just domestic violence but other social issues that we have to have a responsibility to in the NFL. What I'm concerned about more than anything are doing things that reduce the numbers of victims and that can impact families and victims way away from the NFL. To me, that could be our greatest role.''
- Associated Press Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll: ''We have reviewed the report and stand by our original reporting. The Mueller team did ask us for source material and other newsgathering information, but we declined. Everything that we report and confirm goes into our stories. We do not offer up reporters' notes and sources.''
- Pittsburgh Steelers President Art Rooney on meeting with Goodell about the findings: ''There was resounding support for Roger ... There's a very strong confidence in Roger going forward in terms of him being the commissioner of the league.''
- Troy Vincent, NFL executive vice president of football operations: ''All of the off-field events of 2014, including the Mueller investigation and subsequent report, have served to make the NFL better. Because of these events our entire leadership team is more informed and better prepared to address these important conduct issues. We listened, learned and acted. It has been confirmed by both public opinion and intensive scrutiny that playing football is a privilege that does not override the rights of victims of violent crimes such as domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. The result has been a strengthened personal conduct policy with emphasis on victims and survivors.''